Atty dad acquitted after arrest for not wearing mask at outdoor school game, now it’s payback time

A Rochester, NY dad facing jail time and licensure suspension for not wearing a mask was acquitted Wednesday and is now preparing civil litigation.

Chad Hummel, an attorney residing in the Rochester suburb of Irondequoit, Monroe County, was attending his son’s high school baseball game May 1, 2021 with his wife when the arrest occurred. According to Hummel, the couple were 150 feet away from other attendees at the outdoor event in what they believed was a more than reasonable accommodation to disputed mask policies.

In an exclusive press release to The Daily Wire, though well away, Hummel “was approached by [a] security guard employed by the Irondequoit Chief of Police” who asked him to leave “despite the Executive Order…that did not require outdoor masking.”

Hummel had disputed the policy leading up to the game, even providing the district with copies of all of the pertinent regulations, only to be told the school was adhering to a no exemption outdoor mask policy. With signs in sight of the arrest stating masks were optional when six feet apart, Hummel was still arrested and charged with criminal trespassing.

At the time, Hummel reasoned that if the district offered him a public apology and if Superintendent Mary Grow and other district representatives resigned, he would not file any civil litigation. “I’m not in this for the money. I don’t want their money,” Hummel argued.

He latter added, “If they don’t want to resign and they don’t want to issue a public apology…I’ll have to bring a lawsuit against them. It’s that simple.”

Ten months later while remaining banned from district property and at risk of missing his son’s graduation ceremony, after sitting through a four-hour bench trial and facing up 90 days in jail and the suspension of his license, Judge Joseph J. Valentino acquitted Hummel.

Hummel joked that “The mask didn’t fit…so they had to acquit,” as he publicly thanked those who supported him throughout the process. His attorney also commented on the result of the trial and indicated they would in fact be moving to civil litigation.

For that reason, Hummel was unable to elaborate on witnesses for the prosecution who he suggested may have lied under oath.

Monroe County has been an epicenter for parental pushback against masking policies and authoritarian school districts throughout the pandemic. New York radio host Shannon Joy was forcibly removed from a school board meeting in August 2021 for not wearing a mask.

They have joined together to help other parents in similar circumstances in continuing to fight against the overreach of school boards. Hummel was recently retained as a lawyer for a Webster, NY father who was arrested at a different Monroe County school board meeting for not wearing a mask.

In representing Dave Calus who was forcibly removed, Hummel reiterated that money was not a priority with litigation. “So any action that may come out of this as a result of what Webster did to him last night, if it can be beneficial for the children of New York State and the parents of New York State, that’s probably going to be, you know, number one priority right now.”


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Kevin Haggerty


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